You can add to Bob McDevitt’s lofty résumé … survivor from a near death experience.

I have known UNITE-HERE Local 54 President Bob McDevitt for more than 50 years. We go back nearly a lifetime.

We’re very good friends and we’ve done hundreds of hours of radio together on-air during McDevitt’s 25 colorful years at the helm of South Jersey’s largest union.

McDevitt has been a “fighter” all of his life, however, never more so than 7 1/2 months ago, when McDevitt fought for his own life and won.

It’s a very happy ending that easily could have gone the other way, when McDevitt was airlifted from Shore Medical Center to the Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania  in Philadelphia and literally died multiple times (on the helicopter) and while at the hospital … McDevitt was resuscitated back to life each time.

It was literally touch and go for months. We have protected McDevitt’s privacy throughout his nearly impossible journey from the brink of death to a return to vim, vigor and vitality.

Bob is going to tell the whole story on-air with us on “Hurley in the Morning,” in the very near future.

It is a truly remarkable story and McDevitt has prevailed against all odds.

The year 2021 was a tough one for The McDevitt Family, as Bob’s younger brother Joe died from COVID-19 on January 21, 2021 at age 53.

Bob McDevitt’s recovery to full normal function is extraordinary and his will to live required his every effort, along with the world class healthcare that he received, his unconditional, loving family and the power of prayer.

We can also confirm first that McDevitt will return to work this Monday, January 31, 2022 as President of UNITE-HERE Local 54.

Former New Jersey Senator William L. Gormley, who enjoyed a long, collegial and effective working relationship with McDevitt said, “Bob’s remarkable recovery was only matched by his focus on the well being of his members, no matter what challenge he was personally presented,” said Gormley.

The Atlantic City Casino Industry is also pleased that McDevitt will return to his position.

“I’m thrilled to see that Bob has made a full recovery and we’re so happy to be able to witness Bob’s return as head of the union … with his effective operating philosophy of always promoting efforts for the betterment of Atlantic City,” said Mark Giannantonio, President and Chief Executive Officer of Resorts Casino Hotel Atlantic City.

You can see the respect that the highest levels of the Atlantic City casino industry has for McDevitt. Although they have (at times) battled over the years in terms of collective bargaining when necessary … under McDevitt’s leadership, South Jersey‘s largest union and the Atlantic City casino industry have enjoyed their best working relationship in their entire history together.

McDevitt’s return to work this Monday is not about nostalgia. It’s not about the past. It’s all about the present and future … whereby McDevitt has received the blessing of a new lease on life and he is totally focused on making the lives of his membership better on a daily basis.

We will end this profound journey for now, with one of the first public comments from McDevitt about his near death  encounter.

“What I’ve learned during this experience  is how many people there in your life who love you and are not afraid to express it when you go through something like this together, said McDevitt.

“It made a huge difference for me … especially while I was incapacitated. I was in a dark place it really helped bring me back to life.”

“Prayer works and I’m not afraid to say that. I always believed in prayer … but, now I know first-hand the power of prayer. I’m the embodiment that prayer works,” said McDevitt.

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